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No b.s- did not know where else to start this thread. Not a Nova but I know the brain power on here so....
I am hoping someone can help with my Father in-laws issue. He has a 2011 Hyundai Sante Fe that has an intermittent stalling and dead battery issue. He has had it to the dealer several times. They have rep0laced the alternator and he just had a new battery installed. Of course they have said- bad alternator, good now, you left a dome light on and killed the battery, good now - battery tests good. He had anew battery installed the other day. Today he was pulling in his driveway and it died- new battery is dead.
This has happened several times now and once it is boosted it seems to be o.k. for a few days.
Worst part is he has been a GM man his whole life but he is now 89 and this seemed like a good deal when his last GM needed a lot of work- did not want to put the money out at his age for a new GM and this was on the lot.

Anyway- My understanding is the newer vehicles "sense" when the battery needs charging, etc.- I am wondering if this is done through the engine control module, body control module or something else..
I know the knowledge is here on this site and I am hoping knows how this works or what the issue might be. Very frustrating and stressful for my father in-law and Mother in-law.
 

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On a vehicle I had in the shop recently after installing an overhead flip down monitor with an integral dome light I had a battery drain issue that was traced back down to the aftermarket dome light circuit in the monitor.

The aftermarket dome light worked as it should going on and off when the doors were opened and closed and could be turned on and off with the doors closed but after a few days the vehicle would not restart. We could jump it and be fine for days at a time providing it was driven every day but when it sat for 2 days the battery was drained down and the vehicle could not be started without a jump.

For testing the battery was disconnected so an amp gauge could be put in between the positive battery post and the positive battery cable end and when this was done the meter measured around 2.19A while the dome lights were on (factory ones and the aftermarket ones) and then when they timed out and went off the current draw went down to 0.68A and then a few seconds later dropped to 0.18A

Knowing that 0.18A was too high, I disconnected the aftermarket dome light and did a second test and after the remaining dome lights turned off I checked the drain about 5 minutes later and the current draw went down to 0.02A. That was acceptable.

From what I could tell was something in the aftermarket dome light was keeping the body computer awake and once disconnected the issue was gone. We ended up wiring the dome light to a switched 12V and while now that one dome light does not come on and off with the opening and closing of the doors, we can still hit a switch on it to manually turn that light on providing the key is in the run position and when the key is turned off, the light goes off so it cannot be left on by accident.

I also had an issue years ago with an intermittent switch on a lighted vanity mirror on the backside of a passenger visor that you could not tell the light was on even at night and this caused an unwanted battery drain.

Jim
 

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Hey Andrew,
I've had regulators go "bump" and previously good batteries soon followed. Do the new 'digital" cars have a stand-lone regulator or is it all contained within their new electronic gizmos wizardry? Dunno.
The intermittent stalling is likely a symptom of failing battery status so it might not be a "tell" point to concern yourself with initially.
Jim is right on about installing an Ammeter within the battery circuit. It will quickly point out a parasitic drain. Of course if you find there is a drain, the next step is to find the source of that drain. Note: Don't run the engine or any hi-power accessories while you test current in this fashion. You might find your Ammeter leads can't take that much current without burning.
You didn't state how long your FIL had the Hyundai but presume he hasn't added any new accessories. Might even be worth your while to ask the Hyundai Dealer for the Service History on the car, assuming they maintained it - it might be a turd - and no, there is no privacy law at the Federal level or the provincial level in our province to stop a dealer from showing you so don't accept that from a lazy dealer. I did the research and talked to the responsible government individuals at both levels to verify this to be true. I have the proof if you need it.
Good luck,
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the response guys. I will check to see if anything was added. I also like the idea of the passenger side visor switch issue. The issue is very erratic - making it hard to find. The vehicle can sit for a few days- no issue. he can drive for a few days-no issue- then bam it happens.
Good point on checking the vehicle history.
 

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Thanks for the response guys. I will check to see if anything was added. I also like the idea of the passenger side visor switch issue. The issue is very erratic - making it hard to find. The vehicle can sit for a few days- no issue. he can drive for a few days-no issue- then bam it happens.
Good point on checking the vehicle history.
UGH! Intermittent electrical issue - the worst! Could be a component or wire shorting to ground due to vibration. Might try the "shake everything accessible while watching the Ammeter for a current hit" test, Andrew. PIA and may not uncover the problem if not actually running but....when you're out of ideas....
Guys like Mike Gobles and Custom Jim have the best suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So my Father in-law took the vehicle in this morning- as luck would have it - it happened- lost power on the way there, barely ran, limped in to the dealer.
stay tuned.

They changed the serpentine belt 😳😤.
Unbelievable
I would like to find the charging schematic for this vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well my father-in-law just called me and said it wasn't the serpentine belt they replaced but they replace the serpentine belt tensioner. The mechanic brought it over to him and said that the tensioner was not working as it should at all times making the belt slack at times which in turn was making the alternator not charge the way it should. Hopefully this is the cause. My only question would be why did they not think of that when they changed the alternator a few weeks back.
 

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Well my father-in-law just called me and said it wasn't the serpentine belt they replaced but they replace the serpentine belt tensioner. The mechanic brought it over to him and said that the tensioner was not working as it should at all times making the belt slack at times which in turn was making the alternator not charge the way it should. Hopefully this is the cause. My only question would be why did they not think of that when they changed the alternator a few weeks back.
GREAT NEWS, Andrew! I hope it's the "final solution!" Thanks for updating us.

Why did they not think of that before?
....because many Dealer shops today hire "flat-rate piece-part replacers", not salaried mechanics - no offence to any flat-raters that are members here on SNS although everyone on here are more like mechanics. Dealers choose to have the latest in test equipment (whatever they call that analytic system) to determine what's wrong and how long it takes to replace/correct components over human intelligence, experience and skill.

The Analyzer runs 24/7, never argues, never calls in sick or takes vacation, doesn't need training certification and keeps salary expense under control. Often in better shops, the Service Manager is an actual mechanic - that's not a guarantee however.

Like many technical companies that are run/owned by Marketing types, many owners of dealerships are marketers not technical people and they don't like "techies" from the Service department making them look stupid. Analyzer equipment doesn't do that.

Unfortunately for the driving consumer, the analyzer doesn't have the reasoning ability humans have.....yet, so we pay for that expensive analyzer through multiple visits and parts that we didn't need at $100/hr. In your FIL's case, I think he might have gotten lucky and got a guy with some mechanical skill assigned to him by the workload analyzer.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just an update- My father In-law's SUV is working great. Looks like they found the issue... and the right person to have a look at it.
Thanks for the help everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
so what was wronge with the car ??
Would die in traffic. Over a period of weeks- They replaced the alternator, then the battery, finally a mechanic with knowledge found the issue to be that the serpentine belt automatic tensioner was not always keeping tension on the belt causing the alternator to not properly produce power at times..
 

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it cost alot though to get to that point. an i just put a new serpentine belt an tensioner in my 99 suburban with 55,000 miles. i guess i got lucky there.
 
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